5 March 2022
De-Composition of Black Echology: Oceanic Echoes, Fungal Weaves, & Lunar Tunes
Part of Coming to Know
A workshop from v ness
How do fungi, the ocean, and the moon shape our planet into a soundscape? We will explore these three different agents of sounding at the intersections between ancient sound studies and Black sound studies from both ancient and contemporary musical mythmaking practices. Each topic will be connected to a different node from A Slightly Curving Place– fungal weaves will examine the simultaneous ability of decomposition and digging present in mycorrhizal hyphae, oceanic echoes will explore the recording capacity of the liquid coating the majority of the planet, and lunar tunes will consider the moon’s gravitational influence as a form of celestial tuning that is entirely unique within our solar system. Using Black feminist analytic and critical theory, we will sense how listening to these natural sounders of the past can help us all imagine new ways of sounding ourselves into the environmentally fraught future.
Presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Classics, Princeton University. Made possible by Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation.
Image credit: Moonlit Road (2021) by Patrick Lorenzo Semple
v ness is an independent artist and interdisciplinary scholar (the latter under her full name, Vanessa Stovall) who works with genres of mythical music and musical myth across antiquity into the contemporary. She is a classically trained harpist, has composed stage productions for over a decade, and received her Bachelors of Arts from The Evergreen State College and Masters of Arts from Columbia University studying Greek tragedy. In these pandemic times, she has worked as a composer for digital productions of Greek tragedies, most notably the Barnard-Columbia Ancient Drama Group production of Iphigenia in Aulis (2021, dir. Elizabeth McNamara) and the Committee of Ancient and Modern Performance production of hippolytos (2022, dir. Lane Flores). She is currently writing the score for her first in-person Greek tragedy, the Whitman College production of Medea (2022, dir. Anna Conser).